Semur Daging

2 1/2 to 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup minced shallots
2 TBS oil
2 TBS minced ginger
1 1/2 tsp minced laos
1/2 nutmeg, grated
2--4 star anise
1 piece of cinnamon
5 cloves, ground
2 tsp salt
3 roma tomatoes, cut in 1/2-inch dice
4 cups water
2 tsp vinegar
4 TBS kecap manis
2 to 3 yukon gold potatoes, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
1 bundle cellophane noodles, softened in hot water
3--4 hard boiled eggs, peeled

Fry the shallots in the oil about a minute.  Stir in the ginger, laos, nutmeg, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Add the beef, stir and cook for another five minutes or so. Pour in the water, add the kecap manis and salam leaf, and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer on low for around an hour, until the beef is tender. 

Some people add the potatoes raw and let them cook in the stew.  I like to brown them by lightly frying them first and adding them the last fifteen minutes of cooking, along with the tomatoes and eggs. Add the cellophane noodles near the end of the cooking time.

Just before serving, stir in the vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.